My dad used to make the best oyster stuffing for Thanksgiving. Not only was the flavor amazing but the texture spot on. Not dry, not mushy, wonderfully sturdy enough to hold its own against a mountain of homemade gravy. Yummy stuff worth fighting family members over.

I don’t know why oyster. My dad was not really the type of man who was going to be your next star on a food channel explaining why. He spent very little time in the kitchen except for Thanksgiving when he took over completely. The kitchen became a no kid zone. I was not permitted to get in my father’s way on such an important cooking day. I truly have no idea how he made his stuffing. I’m almost positive some, if not all of the stuffing went into the bird, then came out, then went in the oven in separate pans with or without raisins. Labor intensive and highly monitored is what I remember. No notes were ever taken.

Years back, sweet, loving, friends of mine tried to recreate my father’s oyster stuffing for me. Waves of terror rolled through me when they informed me of this fact that fateful Thanksgiving afternoon. My fear made substantially worse when told how difficult it was for them to find the oysters.

I grew up in the desert in Hesperia CA. Guaranteed our oysters came from a can from an ordinary grocery store. My father went to no extremes to locate a single ingredient for his stuffing. What on earth had my friends bought and in what quantities? Please don’t tell me you spent hours in the kitchen turning into a grumpy and stressed old man too!

Obviously I had raved too much about loving my dad’s stuffing. So much so that now people who love me have invited me into their home for a special meal and have gone to great lengths to try to make it in my honor.

I brace myself as an oven warm ceramic container of soupy gray is presented to me at the table with pride. All eyes on me.

I cannot print the response my father would have had he seen it.

Mixed into mashed potatoes it tasted just fine. Not much else was going to help the color or texture. I will be eternally thankful I never told my friends we used to make stuffing sandwiches with it the next day!


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